In a race bias lawsuit, a Tesla employee claims to pay $15 million and a new trial may begin shortly

In a race bias lawsuit, a Tesla employee claims to pay $15 million and a new trial may begin shortly ...

In his lawsuit alleging racial assault by coworkers, a Black former elevator operator at Tesla''s flagship California facility on Tuesday rejected a $15 million (nearly Rs. 120 crore) award, opening the door for a new trial after a judge reduced a $137 million jury verdict.

In a brief filing in federal court in San Francisco, lawyers for Owen Diaz, who was sued by Tesla in 2017, dismissed the judges'' award. They stated in a statement that the award was unjust and would not deter future deception.

According to his lawyers, in refusing to give up excessive reduction by requesting a new trial, Mr. Diaz is again asking a jury of his peers to evaluate what Tesla had done to him and provide just compensation for the slurs that he received.

Tesla contacted us not immediately.

In April, US District Judge William Orrick reduced the jury award, which was one of the largest of its kind in a discrimination lawsuit, to $15 million. He had also denied Tesla''s motion for a new trial, conditioned on Diaz''s acceptance of the lower award.

Earlier this month, the judge denied Diazs'' motion for permission to appeal the judgment and gave him two weeks to accept the lower sentence or a recommendation to begin a new trial.

Tesla is being sued for allegedly widespread race discrimination and sexual harassment at its Fremont, California, manufacturing, including one by a California civil rights organization.

Last week, a Tesla shareholder filed a lawsuit against the company''s chief executive and Elon Muskand''s board of directors of neglecting worker complaints and fostering a harmful workplace culture.

Tesla has denied wrongdoing and claims to have policies in place to protect and address workplace misconduct.

In his nine months working at the Fremont factory in 2015 and 2016, Diaz said that his colleagues and a supervisor subjected him to a hostile work environment that included slurs, caricatures, and swastikas.

Diaz received $6.9 million (nearly Rs. 50 crore) in compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages in October, according to Orrick in April.

In their statement on Tuesday, Diazs lawyers said Orricks'' decision underscored the systemic bias that federal judges have against juries, which in turn violates the constitutional rights plaintiffs have to file a trial by the jury.

2022, Thomson Reuters

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